Saturday, 28 May 2011

Ta Ta Me Old Fruit...

This is my last night in my ends. I'm moving to a cottage in the middle of fucknows-where-Kent as apparently they have hospitals that babies get born in without catching MRSA or get sold to a Latvian couple who paid "good price". It wasn't my idea, but the tickets have been bought and my beloved 500 Arsenal programmes are in a box halfway out the door - so I'm going.

It's going to be a shock to the system. I'm from Leytonstone. I'm used to chicken shops - not farm shops. I'm used to looking at someone like you're going to cut them if they touch your trolley in Tescos and being able to buy 12 beers in a black plastic bag off a Turk at 3am. In this leafy parish, Dot knows Graham, who's Colin the baker's son, who went to school with Phyllis - the lady who won Best Courgette 2004 at the village fete. Nobody fucking knows anyone in my manor - unless you've got beef or they actually live with you. Neighbourhood Watch consists of waiting until next door has gone out before popping their kitchen window and nicking their Xbox. Where I'm going they smile at you like perverts just for being in the same mile radius. When we went to view the cottage some yocal walked past and said to my missus: "Hello, how are you?" whilst smiling like a Cheshire cat. I said "Who the fuck was that? What did they want? Have you still got your purse?". In the motherland the only people who smile at you like that are traffic wardens and drooling crackheads about to plunge a screwdriver into your face for 48p.

I will cherish some very sweet memories of living round here. Like the time some Americans staying with local family asked me which way to the station and I sent them to "Fatched Ouse". Thatched House is the biggest irony since time began. It's in between Leytonstone and Stratford, has four Caribbean takeaways, 11 chicken shops, a Percy Ingle, a minicab office and a dirty cluster of estates. It's head, shoulders, knees and ghettos - there certainly ain't no mock Tudor culture down there! Anyway, the Yanks got robbed. I know this is fact as later on I met one of the estates' yoofs wearing the very same Denver Broncos watch Mr Yank was wearing an hour earlier. Classic.

Another fond memory is how none, absolutely none, of the pizza places in the area would dare go into my mates block to deliver a pizza. Not a chance, and certainly not the 14th floor. They had a five minute waiting time from when they parked their budget ped outside, as they knew, in six minutes, the vultures would come out and they'd be getting jacked. New drivers got ruined and learnt quickly. How many times we'd see hoodrats riding a Pizza Go-Go branded ped across the local park until the Old Bill wised up that the 13 year old "driver" wasn't legitimately employed and the bike was nicked. Comedy.

So now I'm heading off to a village with the population of about 100, probably about 97 by the time I get there - although not reduced from gun crime, just old age. People are going to be nice, which may take some getting used to. I might, however, have a trip back to East occasionally to stop myself feeling homesick- just to see the crackheads blow their noses on bus timetables and to grab myself a one piece snack box from Chicken Palace.

Gonna miss you East London - I'll be back!

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